Plautus, C. Rube'llius
was the son of Rubellius Blandus [BLANDUS] and of Julia, the daughter of Drusus, the son of the emperor Tiberius. Plautus was thus the great-grandson of Tiberius, and the great-great-grandson of Augustus, in consequence of Tiberius having been adopted by Augustus. Descended thus from the founder of the Roman empire, Plautus incurred the jealousy of Nero.
He was involved in the accusations which Junia Silana brought against Agrippina in A. D. 55, whom she accused of a design of marrying Plautus, and raising him to the imperial throne. Five years afterwards, A. D. 60, a comet appeared, which, according to the popular opinion, was thought to forebode a change in the empire.
The people thereupon were set thinking who would be Nero's successor; and no one appeared to them so fit as Rubellius Plautus. Although the latter lived in the most quiet manner, avoiding the popular notice, and harbouring no traitorous designs, Nero wrote to him, recommending him to withdraw from the city to his estates in Asia. Such advice was, of course, equivalent to a commmand ; Plautus accordingly retired to Asia with his wife Antistia, the daughter of L. Antistius Vetus, and employed himself in his exile in the study of the Stoic philosophy.
But even in this retreat he was not safe; for Tigellinus having again excited the fears of Nero in A. D. 62 against Plautus, he was murdered in Asia by command of the emperor. Many of his friends advised him to take up arms to resist his executioners, and his father-in-law Antistius Vetus wrote to him to the same effect; but Plautus preferred death to an uncertain struggle for the empire. (Tac. Ann. 13.19
; D. C. 62.14
; Juv. 8.39